A passenger jet carrying more than 60 people crashed into the Java Sea on Saturday, minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, Indonesian officials said.
Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry said that the last contact with the plane, Sriwijaya Air Flight 182, was made at 2:40 p.m. local time.
The Boeing 737-524 was bound for the city of Pontianak on the island of Borneo. The plane had 62 people aboard, according to an official from Sriwijaya Air, an Indonesian airline based in Jakarta.
Four minutes after taking off amid heavy rain, the 26-year-old plane lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than 60 seconds, according to Flightradar24, the flight-tracking service.
The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said it had found pieces of debris in waters just northwest of Jakarta that it believed may be from the plane’s wreckage, but it said that darkness had impeded its search.
According to Flight Radar, the plane was 26 years old.
“A Sriwijaya Air plane connecting Jakarta to Pontianak” on the island of Borneo “lost contact” shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time, Transport Ministry spokesman Adita Irawati said. The low-cost company said it was investigating, as well as rescue. Boats were sent to the site of the probable crash, according to them.
According to data from the FlightRadar24 website, the aircraft reached an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet, or 3,350 meters, before dropping to 250 feet. He then lost contact with the control tower.
“Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 lost more than 10,000 feet in less than four minutes after leaving Jakarta,” the aviation site said on its official Twitter feed. The Indonesian authorities fear a probable fall in the Java Sea.
Fishermen interviewed on Kompas television said they found debris in the 1,000 island area off the capital, but there has been no official information on its origin.